First Female Mayor Elected in Gary - NBC Chicago

First Female Mayor Elected in Gary

Democrat garners 86 percent of the vote



    Karen Freeman-Wilson is celebrating Wednesday after twice losing the mayoral race. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011)

    The city of Gary, Ind., made a little bit of history Tuesday night.

    By an overwhelming margin, residents elected Karen Freeman-Wilson, 51, as the city's first female mayor, making her the first black female mayor in the state of Indiana.

    Freeman-Wilson, a Democrat, garnered 86 percent of the vote, far ahead of her nearest competitor, an independent who received 7.5 percent.

    Freeman-Wilson is a native of Gary, a Harvard law graduate and the former Indiana attorney general, a position to which she was appointed in 2000 by then-Gov. Frank O'Bannon. She did not win an election to a full term as attorney general.

    She previously ran for mayor of Gary in 2003 and 2007 but was not successful.

    The mayor-elect wants to draw new business to Gary, crack down on crime and improve the city's infrastructure.

    She said she's already begun speaking with area businesses and will announce her transition team next week.